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Blackjack Terms

As the most popular game in both land-based and online casinos, Blackjack has its own special lingo that describes all the actions players or the dealer take. If you’re new to the world of blackjack, you might be confused about most of these blackjack terms. After reading this article not any more.

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Blackjack Terms from A to Z

Probably, you know what a hit, stand, split or bust is, but there are many other blackjack terms that will be new to you. These terms will come in handy if you’re gonna play blackjack.

  • A
  • Anchor – Anchor refers to the seat right to the dealer which is usually the last one to be taken as the cards are dealt from the left to the right.

  • B
  • Blackjack – Blackjack is the best hand a player can get. It has a hand value of 21 and usually consists of an Ace plus a 10, King, Queen or Jack (black). It’s an unbeatable combination which will always beat the dealer’s hand unless he’s got the same.
    Bust – Going bust means exceeding the maximum limit of 21.
    Bust Card – An individual card that brings the player over 21.
    Bottom Dealing – Bottom Dealing is a term for a dealing technique when the dealer deals the cards from the bottom instead of the top of the shoe.
    Buy – This term is commonly used in pontoon and refers to doubling a player’s bet.

  • C
  • Cut Card – Cutting cards are plastic cards which the dealer uses to cut a deck of cards after shuffling them.
    Camouflage – Camouflage is a term which refers to a technique used by players to ‘disguise’ their real strategy and confuse the dealer and casino.
    Card Counting – Card counting is a famous advantage play technique used by gamblers in order to reduce the house edge. Card counting banned in most casinos and considered cheating in general.

    Card Counting
    Card counting in general
  • D
  • Draw – Another term for hit.
    Double (Double-Down) – Doubling down means placing an additional bet (same as the original one) in exchange for standing after receiving one more card.
    Deck Penetration – This term used to describe how many decks the dealer uses after shuffling them all together. In most casinos, dealers use 6-8 decks.

  • E
  • Early Surrender – Early surrendering describes a player’s decision to surrender their bet before the dealer looks for a blackjack.
    Even Money – If a player has blackjack and the dealer’s first card is an ace, the player can accept a payout of 1:1 (even money) before the dealer reveals the second card. Even money is a type of insurance bet which players rarely take.

  • F
  • Face Cards – Face cards are cards that have a ‘face’ on them – King, Queen, and Jack. There’s a total of 4 in each deck.
    First Base – The first base term describes the first seat to the left of the dealer. The player sitting in this spot receives the first cards.
    Flat Bet – This term describes betting the same amount on each hand.
    Five Card Charlie – An automatic win in some blackjack variations with a hand of five cards without going bust.
    Face Up Game – A game of blackjack where the cards are dealt face up.
    Face Down Game – A game of blackjack where the cards are dealt face down

  • H
  • Hard Hand – A hand in which the player will go bust on the next hit. The ace in a hard hand counts as 1.
    Hit – A term players use to ask for another card from the dealer.
    Hole Card – A term that describes the first card in the dealer’s hand which is usually dealt face down.

  • I
  • Insurance – A special type of side bet offered by the dealer when his face-up card is an ace. The player can choose to place the side bet at half the value of their original stake. The bet pays 2:1 if the dealer has blackjack. If he doesn’t, the player loses the wager.

    Blackjack terms
    Terms you need to understand
  • L
  • Later Surrender – A term used in some blackjack games when the dealer doesn’t have a blackjack.

  • N
  • Natural – The term natural describes getting a blackjack during the first two hands.

  • P
  • Perfect Pairs – Perfect Pairs is a term which describes getting two cards of the same color and value.
    Push – Push is essentially a tie between the player and dealer when it comes to the total value of the hands. In this case, the player neither wins or loses anything.
    Point Count – Another term for a specific card counting strategy where the player chooses to take the net value of a card at the end of the hand.
    Pitch Game – Dealing a blackjack from 1-2 decks of cards.

  • S
  • Shoe – The device that holds the decks of cards.
    Soft Hand – A hand which contains an ace that counts as 11 and another card. If the player decides to hit, the value of the ace changes to 1.
    Stand – A term players use when they stop asking for more cards because they’re satisfied with their hand.
    Split – Splitting allows a player to split cards into two hands that are played separately. The bet on the split hand is equal to the original.
    Stiff Hand – A hand which doesn’t stand great chances of winning. It usually includes cards with a total value of 15, 16, and 17, which means that a single low card may result in a bust.
    Surrendering – Surrendering allows a player to fold and get half of his stake back.
    Shuffle – Shuffling is a special system used by the dealer to mix the cards randomly before dealing.
    Stand-Off – Another term for a push.

    Blackjack term shuffle
    Shuffling the cards
  • T
  • Tell-Play – Tell-play refers to a technique used by players when they closely observe the dealer in order to determine what they have in their hand.
    Third Base – Third base is another term for the anchor spot at the table (right to the dealer).
    Tie – Tet another term describing a push or a tie.
    Twist – Twist is a term used in pontoon which basically means hit.

  • U
  • Unit – A unit in blackjack refers to the minimum bet a player can place.
    Upcard – The face-up card in the dealer’s hand

  • W
  • Wonging – Wonging is a term which describes a player who ‘back counts’ and observes the game until they think it’s in their favor. At that point, the player decides to join the game.

Isn’t everything clear yet?

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